Villanueva defends Aquino over ‘Dengvaxia’ mess
Senator Joel Villanueva has defended former President Benigno S Aquino III over the P3.5 billion anti-dengue vaccine fiasco, saying the ex-Chief Executive “acted in the best interest” of the people.
As a show of support for Aquino, Villanueva posted on Instagram on Thursday a photo of him and his family with the President in an undated event in Malacañang.
The photo showed the former leader carrying one of two of the senator’s children.
“I stand by President Noy, given the circumstances, information and research given and available to him, he acted in the best interest of our people,” Villanueva captioned the photo.
“We will continue to seek accountability and make sure that the health of vaccinated children will be prioritized,” the senator added.
Villanueva posted the message while Aquino faced the Senate blue ribbon committee to explain why he approved the budget for the procurement of the vaccine, Dengvaxia, which was used in the anti-dengue immunization program of the Department of Health (DOH) that was launched during the term of then Health Secretary Janette Garin.
Dengvaxia was said to be harmful when administered to people who have no prior dengue infection.
Villanueva also said that he had to leave the hearing to attend to urgent matters.
It was Aquino, who appointed Villanueva as head of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) before he won a Senate seat in 2016. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.